Eating Spanish by Our Table Guest, Miguel

By Guest on 8 June, 2009

Paella de Verduras by La Tienda
I lived in Barcelona for 20 years before moving back here for good in 1999 and I must say, at first I thought I would miss the food, wine and coffee that I used to have while I was living there. I am happy to admit that I was wrong. There are many good Spanish restaurants in town and what is better is there is also a large variety of Spanish wine locally available to pair your food with. In this post, I feature my three favorite Restaurants with the corresponding favorite dish.
The first one on my list would have to be La Tienda. With Chef Javi Lecumberri in the kitchen, this is definitely my favorite place. Javi is from San Sebastian (North of Spain-Food capital of Spain) and has been in the Philippines for more than 10 years. His cooking is simple and straight forward using the best ingredients possible. There are many dishes I love in La Tienda, but if I were to choose one, it would be Paella de Verduras con Arroz Basmati (Vegetable Paella with Basmati rice).It’s the Chefs own version of Paella using Basmati rice, making it lighter and very fragrant. Perfect with a bottle of Rioja wine. I have never tasted any Paella similar in Spain, specially served with Basmati rice, so this is one of the reasons I love this dish. It is also not so overpowering and loaded like other Paellas, so it serves as a side dish but could also be the main course at the same time.

Chuleton by Gaudi

My second favorite place is Gaudi, owned and operated by Xandra Cacho. Her cooking was greatly influenced by her family, who is also from San Sebastian. My favorite dish is the Chuleton (Grilled according to the methods of Villagodio). A huge 1 kilo cut of meat, specially aged, grilled and served on a hot stone plate with rock salt. Typical sidings are potatoes and Piquillo Peppers. The meat is grilled to lock in the juices and immediately sliced and served. Traditionally it is served on hot stone and the steak is cooked according to personal preference (rare, medium or well done) on the table. I particularly enjoy this with a Rioja wine or a red wine from the Priorato region in Catalunya. I have had many Chuletons in Spain (in basque Restaurants as well) and let me tell you, this one is as good if not better than the ones I have tried in Spain.

Chorizo on Piggy Back by Terry’s Selection

My third pick is Terry’s Selection in Pasong Tamo. Owned and managed by JC de Terry, he is authentic as it can get. Terry’s is a perfect place for Tapas and wine. They have a great selection of Deli and wine to suit every ones preferences/taste. I normally like going there on a late afternoon for some Rosado wine (Rosé wine) and some tapas (Cheese, Cold cuts, etc..). One of the dishes I like most is the Chorizo on Piggy Back. It’s a home made Chorizo, served a on clay pot, then flame grilled til its cooked. It has the right amount of acidity, paprika and spices to make this a great dish. I also prefer this since there is not too much fat on it, unlike others. This dish is perfect with a little bread and some young Rioja wine or a Rosé like the Homenaje Rosado from Navarra.

Coincidence or not, the 3 dishes I chose are traditional Spanish with a little personal touch or twist from the Chefs…not too traditional but not too modern at the same time. It shows how food evolves constantly and even if it evolves, it can still be delicious.

Franco’s Note: Much thanks to Miguel of Food and Wine of the World 

La Tienda
43 Polaris Street
Bel-Air 3, Makati City
Metro Manila
Tel: (02) 890 4123

G/F Serendra
Mckinley Parkway
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Tel: (02) 856 0473

Terry’s Selection
Building B, Karivin Plaza
2316 Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City, Metro Manila
Tel: (02) 844 1816


LABELS: , , , , , , ,



Post a comment
  • JUNE 8, 2009 4:41 PM

    wysgal said...

    Good tips! I haven't been to La Tienda or Gaudi.

    And now I have this vision of buying a paellera when I get back to Manila and cooking dinner for a big group of friends by the pool. (Rainy season be damned). =)

  • JUNE 9, 2009 12:12 AM

    Socky said...

    You hit my top 3 favorites. Will be trying Tapella at GB5 this thursday. It's a Gaudi restaurant (the one on the 3rd floor of GB2 has closed). They have Gaudi's good old chuleton and some new ones. Saw their wine list (mostly from Barcino); the selection includes some of barcino's best and prices are not much different from retail prices. So it doesn't make much sense to byob. But if you do, corkage is only P300. Good reviews from a fellow blogger here:

  • JUNE 9, 2009 3:18 AM

    Chinkee said...

    Miguel is truly the go-to person when it comes to Spanish food and wines. After that delicious feast at La Tienda with my friends that he set up for us, I will never ever doubt him again.

    Mig, sikat ka na talaga!:-)

  • JUNE 9, 2009 10:34 AM

    Anonymous said...

    wow, love your blog! just recently discovered it. my only pet peeve is that it is very difficult to read with the bright red back ground and the lightly colored fonts. i am a senior citizen and I would really appreciate if you can make this blog more senior citizen friendly! thanks and keep on blogging!

  • JUNE 9, 2009 11:34 AM

    Miguel said...

    First, thank you for inviting mne to wriet on your blog...

    Wysgal - you should definitely try them when you wont regret.

    Socky - Yes I was with Noel during our friday lunch at Tapellas...its great that they have a good wine selection but that the corkage is only 300 pesos...

    Chinks - haha glad you enjoyed my recomendations :)

  • JUNE 14, 2009 2:16 AM

    Noel said...

    Excellent post, Miguel. Clear, concise, to the point and takes advantage of your viewpoint - from one familiar with the traditional Spanish methods of preparation. Very good show.


  • JUNE 14, 2009 6:19 AM

    goodfor2 said...

    the chuleton is really something else

  • JUNE 16, 2009 2:42 PM

    Miguel said...

    Thanks Noel...we should eat there again soon....